Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Andrew Lewis or CPO Graham Power QPM?

There is a saying that goes something like “it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people believe you are an idiot, than it is to open your mouth and confirm it”.


First of all I am not calling either of these two men an idiot, not even a liar, because that, I am quite sure would be libellous.


Below is a statement written by former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis in response to Chief Police Officer Graham Power’s sworn affidavit.


But below that is Chief Police Officer Power’s response to the former Home Affairs Minister. I believe it is fairly safe to say that one of these two gentlemen look way out of their depth and are being somewhat more than economical with the truth.


It might be a slightly lengthy read but for those who take the 10-15 minutes out to read it you will be left with little doubt that somebody’s version of events just do not stack up.


From Andrew Lewis.


Response to P9 and allegations by Graham Power in his recently published Affidavit
 
February 2010
 
Suspension of the States Of Jersey Chief of Police


My knowledge of this matter stems from my role as Home Affairs Minister. As such I am bound by the confidentiality requirements in the Chief Police Officer's disciplinary code.  Although the decision to suspend the Chief of Police was my decision, at all times I sought legal advice and that of HR professionals and took this advice into account.
 
To the best of my knowledge the actual decisions were taken on the dates recorded in the correspondence. The earlier dates of creation simply reflect the preliminary work by the legal and HR advisers, which was contingency preparation in the event that the full disclosure of information by the Deputy Chief Officer might result in a decision to invoke the disciplinary code. This was sensible contingency planning. 


Up until the 11th February I was not aware of Mr Power’s Affidavit despite his claimthat he had sent it to me. Consequently I feel I have no alternative other than to make a brief and measured response to the allegations contained in the document.
 
 
1. I have sympathy for the concerns that Mr Power has for his family but it must be pointed out that the reason that his daughter became aware of his plight whilst driving to work in Australia was because Mr Power, upon leaving the meeting with me and Mr Ogley at Cyril Le Marquand House, went directly to the BBC radio station to make a statement despite being advised not to do so. This story was immediately syndicated across the world.
 
2. Mr Power also suggests that I should have discussed my actions with the previous Minister Senator Wendy Kinnard before carrying them out. In the context of the reasons for his suspension this would have been quite inappropriate as the Minister had handed over responsibility for oversight of the abuse inquiry many months before due a conflict of interest.
 
 
 
3. The act of suspension was fully in line with the disciplinary code and is designed as a neutral act in order to give the Chief Officer sufficient time to defend his position uncompromised by the constraints of office. The code has a clear process of appeal despite Mr Power’s allegations that such provision does not exist.
 
4. Mr Power also claims that the code was rewritten hours before it was invoked, this is quite misleading. The nature of the code was not rewritten it was simply amended for use under the new ministerial government system, which involved replacing the word committee with that of minister. The same has applied to numerous documents right across the States since the inception of ministerial government
 
5. Both Mr Power and Deputy Hill claim that the decision to suspend the Chief of Police was somehow rushed, “done on a whim with little consideration and without seeking advise”. I refute this suggestion most strongly. I had been aware for sometime of concerns about the command and control of the Child Abuse enquiry and in my capacity as Minister had been regularly briefed by the Deputy Chief Officer on the progress of an independent review of the case, being carried out by The Metropolitan Police.
 
6. Mr Power had also been regularly briefed on the progress of the review in even more detail than I. He was also informed that the Deputy Chief Of Police was planning to brief Ministers on the 11thNovember on the findings of the review that were expected to be shocking. Despite this Mr Power decided to go on holiday. I questioned this with him but he claimed that there was nothing in the Met report to be concerned about. Subsequent revelations that are now well documented were of course quite the opposite.
 
7. During my final meeting with Mr Power he was not asked to resign he never has been, it was an action that I did not wish to invoke because it was important that a thorough investigation of the allegations made in the Met review was undertaken before any further action was taken in respect of Mr Power’s position. Hence the suspension was an important neutral act. I am not at liberty to disclose the contents of the Met Report as I am bound by the disciplinary code. However I refute strongly the repeated suggestion by Mr Power that he does not know why he has been suspended, full details of the reasons are contained in the two page letter that was given to him at our meeting with him on the 12th November 2008.
 
8. Mr Power also claims that the notes taken at the meeting on the 12thNovember which were later typed from Mr Ogley’s notes some how differed from Mr Power’s recollection of the meeting. The transcripts of the meeting were forwarded to me for my approval. I can categorically state that they were a true and accurate record of the meeting. Mr Power has never corresponded with me to the effect that they did not reflect the meeting.
 
9. I am deeply concerned that the subsequent enquiry into this matter conducted by Wiltshire constabulary has taken so long. I was advised that such an investigation would only take until March 2009. The longer such matters are left the more open they are to wild allegations of conspiracy. Such allegations I most strongly refute. The reasons for suspension were compelling; the process was diligent, professional and painstakingly considered in accordance with the disciplinary code. I took full legal and HR advice from highly competent professionals and followed the prescribed procedure of the day.
 
10. I had on a number of occasions publicly and privately extolled my respect and admiration for Mr Power as competent manager and Chief Police Officer. Which was why I was deeply shocked by the revelations and allegations presented by other competent independent policing authorities concerning Mr Powers command and control of Jerseys biggest ever criminal investigation.
 
11. Such allegations must be and I am led to believe have now been thoroughly investigated. I now look forward to the publication of the Wiltshire Constabulary’s report, which I have fully cooperated with. If further enquires are proved necessary I would fully support and cooperate with such a process.
 
 
 
Andrew Lewis  -  19th February  2010

 
The following statement has been issued by Graham Power QPM.   Chief Officer of the States of Jersey Police.   22nd February 2010. 


Since my suspension in November 2008 I have complied with the confidentiality requirements of the disciplinary code. I have however always made it clear that if the code is breached by Ministers, or those acting on their behalf, I would not hesitate to respond.


I have tonight seen the statement issued by the former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis.   In my view his statement constitutes a clear breach of the code and one to which I am entitled to respond. Accordingly I do so in the comments set out below. It may be noted that my comments relate entirely to the statements of Andrew Lewis. I have attempted not to stray into other areas in order to stay within the spirit of the code. I offer this compliance in spite of the totally unfair, unjust and disproportionate manner of my treatment. Andrew Lewis and his associates are assisted by the full wealth and power of the state. I have been refused legal assistance and in consequence I am required to defend myself with only the resources of myself, family and supporters. I do my own research and I type my own letters. I do not have expensive staff, civil servants, or legal advisors supporting my work. I have only the resources of a private individual. Nevertheless, I hope that the following comments will assist in the growing debate relating to the actions of Ministers and others in November 2008.


I do not have the technical capability to insert my comments alongside those of Andrew Lewis.   It may therefore be necessary for the reader to be in possession of the comments of the former Minister while reading my comments. If this causes difficulty I apologise. It is the best I can do with the resources available.


Preamble.


In the introduction to his recent statement Mr Lewis says “at all times I sought legal advice and that of HR professionals and took this advice into account.” In his statement to the disciplinary investigation by Wiltshire Police he says “Up until I received the letter from David WARCUP, I had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well.” (Statement to Wiltshire Police paragraph 3.) In his statement to the disciplinary enquiry, the Chief Executive to the Council of Ministers, Bill Ogley states “On 11th November I received a letter from David WARCUP .......... I then wrote to Andrew Lewis that day.” (Statement to Wiltshire Police page 7.) It follows therefore that the evidential statements made by Mr Lewis and Mr Ogley claim that the letter which led to the suspension was received on 11th November 2008, and Mr Lewis states that until he received that letter “I had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well.” On the evening of 11th November Andrew Lewis asked me to attend a meeting the following morning, and I was suspended on the morning of 12th November 2008. It follows therefore that if the statements of both Mr Lewis and Mr Ogley are true the “legal advice and that of HR professionals” must have taken place between 11th and 12th November 2008 which is a tight time frame and hard to reconcile with the claim that this advice was taken “at all times.” What we now know, from separate disclosures obtained in the face of strong opposition from the current Chief Minister, is that the suspension documents were in fact prepared early in the morning of Saturday 8th November 2008, a fact which is hard to reconcile with the previous statements made by Andrew Lewis, presumably with the advice and support of the legal and HR professional experts upon whom he relies. If such experts have in fact assisted Mr Lewis in preparing his statement, then they are inevitably associated with what he has said and done and they may therefore be compromised. This would appear to re-enforce the need for any review of these issues to be fully independent.


The dates on which the suspension documents were created is referred to by Mr Lewis in his recent statement when he says “the earlier dates of creation simply reflect the preliminary work by the legal and HR advisors.” Given that under the Police Law and the Disciplinary Code it is the Minister for Home Affairs and nobody, literally nobody else, who has any jurisdiction whatsoever in relation to the Chief Officer of Police, we are entitled to ask on whose authority the Law Officers Department and “HR advisors” determined that on a Saturday morning in November 2008 it would be appropriate to draft suspension notices for the Chief Officer of the Islands Police Force. In his statement to Wiltshire Police the timeframe given by Mr Lewis indicates that it could not have been him. So who was it? Or is it possible that the truth is not being told?


On a relatively minor point in the preamble Mr Lewis states “Until 11th February (2010) I was not aware of Mr Power’s affidavit despite his claim that he had sent it to me.” Just for the record, no such claim was made. It has been truthfully stated that the affidavit, sworn in January 2009, was sent to the Minister for Home Affairs. This was of course another person by that time. It rather appears that the legal and HR professionals who have apparently assisted Mr Lewis in preparing his release have let him down on this point of detail.


I now turn to the numbered paragraphs in the recent release by Andrew Lewis:


1. In this paragraph Mr Lewis attempts to blame me for the publicity regarding the suspension.   During the suspension interview he made it clear that it had already been decided that he and the then Chief Minister (who had no lawful role in the matter whatsoever) would shortly be giving a press conference, the arrangements for which had been put in place the previous day, presumably in anticipation of the outcome of the suspension meeting on 12th.   It is natural and understandable that in light of this information I should decide to ensure that my side of the story was given comparable coverage.
 
2. Mr Lewis claims that any consultation with the previous Minister would have been a conflict of interest. He misses the point. The relevant period of the historic abuse enquiry was undertaken under the political oversight of another person who is not recorded as having expressed any formal concerns. In his actions of 12th November 2008 Mr Lewis was applying retrospective judgement in respect of actions which occurred prior to him assuming office.   He was, in common parlance, moving the goalposts after the event. His failure to consult with the person who was actually in political office at the relevant time is a breach of the basic principles of fairness.
 
3. Mr Lewis claims that the process he applied was in accordance with the disciplinary code and he appears to imply that it was in some way fair and “neutral.” This claim is made in spite of the strong criticism of his actions by the Royal Court. He does not address this criticism and appears to prefer to pretend that it does not exist. Contrary to his claim, the disciplinary code provides for no appeal against suspension. There is a right of appeal against the findings of a disciplinary hearing. No such hearing has yet occurred and none has been arranged.
 
4. Lewis says “Mr Power also claims that the code was rewritten hours before it was invoked, this is quite misleading.” If this is genuinely misleading then I am quite happy to be led towards the truth. If it was re-written at an earlier time, who did this and who asked for it to be done?   Could it by any chance be the same as yet unidentified person or persons who decided, apparently without any Ministerial authority, to spend a Saturday morning drafting suspension notices for the Chief Officer of Police on the off-chance that the Minister, who according to his statement to Wiltshire Police, “had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well” might suddenly change his mind? Or was it intended that the Minister would have his mind changed for him? Without a proper enquiry we will never know.
 
5. In his recent statement Mr Lewis says “I had been aware for some time of concerns about the command and control of the Child Abuse Enquiry.” In his formal statement to Wiltshire Police he states “Until I received the letter from David WARCUP, (on 11th November 2008 – the day before the suspension) I had no reason to believe that they were not managing the investigation well.” (Paragraph 3.) Is Mr Lewis now admitting that his statement to Wiltshire Police is not true? If it helps, it appears that prior to signing his statement to Wiltshire Police, Mr Lewis signed a declaration which among other things (such as page numbers and the like) states “This statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and I make it knowing that, if it is tendered in evidence, I shall be liable to prosecution if I have wilfully stated anything in it which I know to be false or do not believe to be true.” If the signed statement to Wiltshire Police is not true then it is a serious matter. On the face of it, his recent public statement, and the statement to Wiltshire cannot both be true. This is something which may require a more formal investigation. I will return to this issue later.
 
6. Mr Lewis states that I was aware of the planned briefing to Ministers on 11th November 2008. This is just plain untrue. Pure and simple. This was planned and executed without my knowledge. If he claims that I was aware it might be useful for him to state who told me, and when. He then states “Despite this Mr Power chose to go on holiday.” This is almost a total reversal of the truth. Mr Lewis knows, or at least he should know, that my absence was not a “holiday.” I was attending to family welfare issues in the UK which had by that time been postponed for too long due to work commitments. The evidence indicates that far from my absence being some form of abdication of responsibility on my part, it was seized upon in a series of events which bear all of the characteristics of a planned coup d’ état. The first day of my leave was 7th November 2008. By the following morning persons unknown were preparing suspension notices and, on the evening of my return to the island I was told to attend a meeting the following morning.  
 
7. Lewis states that I was not “asked to resign.” All parties agree on at least one thing.   That is that at the start of the meeting I was asked to“consider my position.” I leave it to others to decide what is commonly understood to be meant by this statement. Interestingly Mr Lewis states “I am not at liberty to disclose the contents of the Met Report.” According to his statement to Wiltshire Police he could hardly do so given that he claims “I never saw the Metropolitan Review Document.” (Paragraph 14.) Again, it is hard to reconcile these two statements.
 
8. In his recent statement Lewis refers to the typed notes which are alleged to be a true record of the disciplinary meeting and says “Mr Power has never corresponded with me to the effect that they did not reflect the meeting.” In a letter addressed to the Minister dated 1st December 2008 I begin “Dear Minister.” I then go on to list a number of issues. In paragraph 5 and 6 I refer to the alleged typed notes of the meeting and list areas of the notes which I consider to be untrue. On 5th December 2008 I received a reply which had been sent on the Ministers behalf. I have copies of both letters. The recent claim by Lewis that “Mr Power has never corresponded with me to the effect that they (the notes) did not reflect the meeting” is a further transparent falsehood and can be shown to be so.
 
9. I am grateful for the comments of Andrew Lewis in this paragraph.   He confirms that he and others were apparently misled as to the duration of the disciplinary enquiry, stating that he was told that it would be concluded by March 2009. It is now of course almost March 2010 and the matter is still outstanding. He does not say who misled him or speculate as to their motives.   He says that he is “deeply concerned” about this issue. His concerns, if authentic, are appreciated. During this time he has of course been getting on with his life. I am the one who has been suspended until such time as there is no possibility of a return to work, and I have therefore effectively been dismissed.  
 
10. In this paragraph Mr Lewis praises my professional virtues.   He then says that he was shocked by the revelations presented by “competent independent policing authorities.”   He does not say who these authorities were. Whoever they were they could not have been the Metropolitan Police whose report he “never saw.” (Witness statement paragraph 14.)
 
11. Mr Lewis states that he will now “look forward to the publication of the Wiltshire Constabulary’s report.” In that respect he may be disappointed, given that Wiltshire have ruled their report to be confidential and stated that their report is exempt from any Freedom of Information laws on a number or grounds, including the claim that any disclosure would be “likely to prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and Jersey.”(Confidentiality rules.   Wiltshire report.) I will of course abide by the confidentiality rules imposed by Wiltshire.   Andrew Lewis apparently intends otherwise. In this paragraph Mr Lewis goes on to state that he would fully co-operate with any further enquiries which may be necessary. I am pleased to hear this in view of what I have to say below with regard to this issue.
 
Personal comment. 


Having concluded my comments on the recent release by Andrew Lewis, I now offer the following thoughts: 


Among all of the conflicting accounts and confusion a number of things appear to be evident. 
Nobody appears to dispute that important evidence, in the form of the original record of the suspension meeting was wilfully destroyed.
 
There is evidence that suspension documents which bore the date 12th November 2008 and which claimed to be in response to information received the previous day, were, shall we say, deficient in authenticity.
 
There is an apparent conflict between things said in the legally admissible statement made by Andrew Lewis and the things which he is saying now. There might be an explanation for this, although none is immediately apparent.
 
In these circumstances I believe that there is a compelling case for a full independent investigation with intrusive legal powers, into the actions of Andrew Lewis and others on and around 12th November 2008 and that given the circumstances, a full criminal investigation, by an independent police force, may be appropriate. This is of course a matter for others to decide.   Nevertheless, notwithstanding my effective dismissal from the police service, I remain fully committed to support any enquiry, criminal or otherwise, into the events of November 2008. 

20 comments:

  1. I know who I believe and it ain't Mr Lewis!!!!!!!!

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  2. I ALSO know who I believe - and from my dealings with him, it isn't Mr Lewis...

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  3. 10. In this paragraph Mr Lewis praises my professional virtues.   He then says that he was shocked by the revelations presented by “competent independent policing authorities.”   He does not say who these authorities were. Whoever they were they could not have been the Metropolitan Police whose report he “never saw.” (Witness statement paragraph 14.)


    There is an old adage which goes something along the lines of if you lie, you have to lie to cover up that lie, and then lie to cover up that lie ... until you do an impersonation of the mythical Oozlum bird and disappear up your own .... well, I'll let the reader guess where you end up :-)

    The Beano is not the Rag

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  4. Hi VFC

    This is very serious sometimes silence is golden

    Lewis you idiot have you not learnt anything

    rs

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  5. Having seen Lewis behavior when travelling I would say he is an ignorant bad mannered individual

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  6. Bill Ogley - so obviously corrupt

    Kevin Lewis - equally corrupt and stupid with it.....

    No worries.... our corrupt little Chief Minister will back you all the way.

    But the truth will out and you will all shown up for the type of people you are.

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  7. Not only did Mr Power hammer Mr Lewis with his quick response, he also warned/invited him of/to a criminal investigation!

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  8. Mr Power - I hope you fight this through to the very bitter end, as I am sure you will.

    You have a lot of unwavering support. The corruption in this Island is beyond belief, we have a totally inept Chief Minister, and a public who really are sick and tired of all this nonsense.

    It goes from bad to worse every time we think it can't get any worse!

    I too do not believe Andrew Lewis. If you can't say so VFC - I will!

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  9. Can anyone honestly say they do believe Lewis????

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  10. As an 18 y/o student assigned to evaluate this wierd Jersey story in terms of press coverage and impacts, I must say the only decent related investigative reporting in more than a year is published on this blog. Our conclusions do not show the rest of your local press in any better light than your government. Actually, very little adequate coverage has come from anywhere else either, but the very worst is surely the Jersey newspaper.

    Billikens

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  11. Which man is lying? The truth seems self evident if you look to the motives. And only one of the two contradicts himself repeatedly while actively avoiding any real transparency of process.

    Chad

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  12. Sorry. Your island's political system is obviously getting out of control. There isn't any excuse for this in a real government when crime, public safety and democracy are involved. No excuse at all.

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  13. Here is something which may give a clue as to where the truth lies here. Two nights before I left the island my wife and I attended a dinner at Government House. Andrew Lewis was another guest. In view of what happened at the infamous press conference and with Graham Power's suspension, my wife now relates, with some hilarity and not a little cycnicism, how Andrew Lewis stood with his arm around me and told her, and several other people standing with us, how he had "stood shoulder to shoulder" with me in attempting to get justice for the victims of HDLG. He described to her how talking to Frank Walker was like talking to a brick wall, such was his hostility to the enquiry, and that he had repeatedly to tell Walker to "wind his neck in." There was certainly no hint that he had any worries about the enquiry that night, nor in the frequent expressions of support and being with us. It seems his memory might be slipping a little. As for the JEP, does anyone really care what this totally discredited and dishonest "Janet and John" publication says? Lenny Harper

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  14. It is fairly obvious that Lewis has either lied in his latest statement or he lied to the Wiltshire police, either way the man is a liar and should be held accountable.

    On a point of order one of the anonymous comments on this blog says "Kevin Lewis is corrupt and stupid" I assume the poster meant Andrew not Kevin Lewis, Kevin Lewis is someone else entirely.

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  15. Para2
    what was Sen. WK's conflict of interest?
    With blatent contradictions as these is there not any legal process to challenge Lewis account seeing GP's is a sworn testimony

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  16. Lenny Harper comment
    Hope the people in your company @ Government house & listened to Lewis are supporting yours & GP's side of the story.

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  17. Daren.

    Thank you for pointing out the Kevin/Andrew discrepency.

    I should also point out, before Tim Le Coq starts authoring any gagging orders, that it is not the view of Team Voice that Andrew Lewis is a liar or is corrupt.

    Misled, confused and contradicatory perhaps.

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  18. Misled, confused and contradicatory perhaps-

    And economical with the truth perhaps then. He should not forget that his response was relaing to a man whose career has been based on the minutaie of FACTS and investigation, who has risen through the ranks, sady to end up in Jersey.

    Very foolish Mr Lewis et al to attempt to fool a man of Mr Powers calibre and expertise, both of which you seem to be lacking.

    I do hope Wendy Kinnard can find it in herself at this stage to speak out - and hope that the disgraceful comment in the JEP about her being weak will prompt her to show she is made of sterner stuff.

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  19. VFC

    Thanks to your website the truth is in the public domain. How damming is that out Government have to conduct a debate about something as fundamental as fair and due process in secret?

    You and the other proponents of citizens media have changed the closed and secretive world of Jersey for ever.

    You are also careful to ensure that you do not overstep the mark, no libelous or unsubstantiated comment allowed, you put into the public domain evidence with a reasoned and intelligent editorial comment.

    My God could the JEP and BBC Jersey learn something from you.

    Keep up the good work you are shining a light into the dark corners of Jersey that the ruling elite have hidden for years and you've got them on the run.

    Transparency, information, citizen media the disinfectant cleaning the shabby and dirty dealings of the Jersey establishment.

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  20. Just for clarification.

    Deputy Kevin Lewis and former Deputy, and former Home Affairs Minister Andrew Lewis are two different people.

    So much so that Deputy Kevin Lewis voted in favour of Deputy Bob Hill's P9/2010.

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